Author Topic: GMIL Birthday Mess  (Read 14028 times)

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BarensMom

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2013, 11:08:05 PM »
Parkin' my pod with Zizi-K.

I agree with the above - it's not a good idea to "surprise" an elderly person, even one in relatively good health.

I've mentioned here before about the time my sibs gave my mom a surprise 80th b-day party.  Mom came in the door, they shouted "surprise," and she fainted (thankfully) into a chair.

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2013, 10:18:21 AM »
No mailed invites. AIL arranged with MIL between the two of them they'd reach out to family two months prior by phone (everyone lives somewhat in the same area). Then MIL told AIL a month before the birthday (and two months before our trip) that she had taken a cake to a great aunt's annual early holiday party to celebrate with the extended relatives. I found this out from MIL during that phone call when she told us how she changed all the plans. No one told me about that mini celebration in all this. And I never heard from AIL for over a month prior to GMIL's actual bday. So I wonder if AIL, who always does the head in sand routine when MIL acts up, just decided to bow out without letting us know any of this.

So did your AIL have to call back all the relatives she'd contacted 2 months prior and tell them the date was changed?

There just seems to be a lot of confusion.  You say they were to call relatives 2 months before the party, but then MIL told AIL about the change a month before the party but that was still two months before your trip. I thought your trip was planned for when the original party date was planned.

Is it possible there was confusion about the plans, I know in your mind they were definite but the planning seems really loose and you and AIL seemed to be expecting MIL to execute some of your plans.

TurtleDove

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2013, 11:38:37 AM »
I am confused about what was set and what was not. I don't understand how MIL was able to cancel plans the OP made, unless the plans were not actually solid. I also don't understand why the OP would not just go ahead with the party as planned. So what if MIL is doing something else in the actual birthday. I guess I just don't understand why the OP opted to cancel plans.

VorFemme

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2013, 11:57:27 AM »
Either MIL gets included in with the planning from the start (and some credit to the extended family for her "good ideas" so that she is invested in NOT changing things) or no plans are run through her so that she can't switch things around...although since she's in the area and the OP & her DH aren't, that might not be easy to do.

But as the updates currently stand (MIL has been cut off twice before for pulling various stunts and MIL pulled this stunt at the last minute so that SHE was in charge & her sister will not stand up to her - so she tends to "get away with it" when she pulls the rug out from under other people's plans) - MIL needs to go back into time out.

DH will be there this summer (we hope GMIL will be there, too) and possibly the OP can come along for a "half-birthday" tea party, something like Alice in Wonderland but on the half birthday instead of an un-birthday event. 

If they want to invite other family members - fine - but MIL gets notified ahead of time with enough time to shower, get dressed up, and join them wherever they are going to have the event.  If she ruins it - her MOTHER might need to start crying about "how can YOU ruin my party" because it would be a legitimate use of the motherly guilt trip.  If an elderly lady is up to doing that - it might be that MIL can get away with more than she used to because neither her sister nor her mother has the strength to spare to deal with her.

Of course, I have no idea if her mother stands up to MIL or not....we do know that her sister doesn't even try.   But we don't know if her mother gave up decades ago, like her sister.
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MommyPenguin

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2013, 12:36:27 PM »
No mailed invites. AIL arranged with MIL between the two of them they'd reach out to family two months prior by phone (everyone lives somewhat in the same area). Then MIL told AIL a month before the birthday (and two months before our trip) that she had taken a cake to a great aunt's annual early holiday party to celebrate with the extended relatives. I found this out from MIL during that phone call when she told us how she changed all the plans. No one told me about that mini celebration in all this. And I never heard from AIL for over a month prior to GMIL's actual bday. So I wonder if AIL, who always does the head in sand routine when MIL acts up, just decided to bow out without letting us know any of this.

So did your AIL have to call back all the relatives she'd contacted 2 months prior and tell them the date was changed?

There just seems to be a lot of confusion.  You say they were to call relatives 2 months before the party, but then MIL told AIL about the change a month before the party but that was still two months before your trip. I thought your trip was planned for when the original party date was planned.

Is it possible there was confusion about the plans, I know in your mind they were definite but the planning seems really loose and you and AIL seemed to be expecting MIL to execute some of your plans.

I think what she was saying was that the invites were going to be sent out about two months before the party.  The MIL told AIL about the change a month before the *birthday*, but remember that the party was going to be 3 weeks after the birthday, so almost a month afterwards.  So, let's say the birthday was January 3rd, and the party was going to be January 26th.  Invitations were set to go out December 3rd, which would have been a month before the birthday (January 3rd) and almost 2 months before the party (January 26th).  But that's when the MIL changed things.  So the invitations may not have been made yet, although they were almost about to be.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2013, 01:44:04 PM »
It sounds like MIL is the obstacle in the pathway, but if any info comes from you, she will definitely muck it up.  Would things have been different if all communication to MIL came from AIL?  Would she ruin something engineered by her own sister?  If the answer to that is yes, then I don't see if you have any choice but to walk away from MIL.  She won't do it herself, but she won't let anyone else do it either.
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lakey

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2013, 02:09:56 PM »
 "But DH says something similar to Aussie - why bother, bascially, as she won't change. And that's where I sigh because I truly don't know sometimes - maybe just hope that she will understand she needs to stop pulling this stuff."

I understand how upset both you and your DH are at going to all this effort and then having it rejected. It sounds like your MIL is one of those people who creates difficulties, and is surrounded by relatives who let her get away with her ridiculous behavior. I have one of those in my own family. There is an alternative to the cut direct and the other option of letting her get away with things. Cut way back on contact with her, refuse to get involved with planning anything with her, when she messes up events give her an honest, low key comment about why you are upset. If she doesn't like it, tough.

When and if you have kids, it will be more important than ever to stop putting up with her guff. Again, solution, limit contact if she can't behave.

TurtleDove

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2013, 02:10:32 PM »
I still am not following why the OP did not go through with her plans. The OP, and not the MIL, canceled the party a few weeks after the birthday. The way I see it, the OP cut off her nose to spite her face.

kudeebee

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2013, 07:55:35 PM »
I still am not following why the OP did not go through with her plans. The OP, and not the MIL, canceled the party a few weeks after the birthday. The way I see it, the OP cut off her nose to spite her face.

Because all of the extended family who were to be invited to the original planned party 3 weeks after gmil's birthday were now invited to gmil's birthday party/dinner the day of the birthday.  There would be no need for the second party. When the OP and her dh would arrive, mil's plan was for the immediate family to go out to eat again (if that would even happen since they-mil and extended family-had already taken gmil out once). 

OP and dh were going to celebrate gmil's bd and also to spend time with the extended family.  So since extended family will not be present and the main party has already occurred, that is why the OP cancelled their flights and the restaurant room reservation.

TurtleDove

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2013, 08:18:35 PM »
I, personally, would have kept my flights and held the party as planned. I don't really see why the OP's visit in and if itself wouldn't be reason for the family to get together.

Hmmmmm

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2013, 08:31:16 PM »
I still am not following why the OP did not go through with her plans. The OP, and not the MIL, canceled the party a few weeks after the birthday. The way I see it, the OP cut off her nose to spite her face.

Because all of the extended family who were to be invited to the original planned party 3 weeks after gmil's birthday were now invited to gmil's birthday party/dinner the day of the birthday.  There would be no need for the second party. When the OP and her dh would arrive, mil's plan was for the immediate family to go out to eat again (if that would even happen since they-mil and extended family-had already taken gmil out once). 

OP and dh were going to celebrate gmil's bd and also to spend time with the extended family.  So since extended family will not be present and the main party has already occurred, that is why the OP cancelled their flights and the restaurant room reservation.

To me, this makes it sound worse for the OP.

She, her DH, and AIL pick a date 3 weeks post bday to celebrate GMIl's bday based on what works for them. They are looking forward to a big party with extended family. MIL indicate some reluctance to the plan.  GMIL say she'd like to celebrate her bday on her actual bday at a restaurant. Now that the focus isn't getting to visit with extended family they are choosing to not go at all. So it seems their primary motive was to see extended family and not GMIL bday or a visit.

OP, why was a date 3!weeks post selected?

Psychopoesie

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2013, 09:51:19 PM »
Fair points and I left something out here:

The second phone call with MIL - she advised us not to come ON the date as we'd only be able to come for two days. So it was MIL who said for us to come three weeks later, so that we could have four days.

Also - DH and I were paying for the private room at the restaurant. I'd already put the deposit (refundable, thankfully) and made the reservation myself. Again - AIL first approached MIL with this. Not me. AIL was stressed about the plans so I picked up the ball b/c MIL wasn't. I made sure to speak with MIL twice during that planning, and again as it was completed, asking everytime for input and got none.

In this post, the OP says the date was selected at the MIL's urging.

cicero

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2013, 02:42:32 AM »
I still am not following why the OP did not go through with her plans. The OP, and not the MIL, canceled the party a few weeks after the birthday. The way I see it, the OP cut off her nose to spite her face.
i agree with this.

I don't know how old the GMIL is, but i would be putting *her* first. Not the MIL, not my feelings, no coulda-shoulda-woulda.

I understand that the OP can't go now, and i think it' s a shame. I would ask one of the younger relatives to set up a skype session so you can at least "participate" from far, and make it your business to go out and visit GMIL soon.

I understand how difficult it was to set everything up, i understand it's hard to coordinate between states/countries - believe me. Half of my family lives in one country that is a 12-hour flight from where the other half of the family lives. and my siblings/aunts/cousins in other country mostly live on the East Coast but not all in the same city/state. and when there is a family celebration, we do what we have to do to try and make it - and it's not always easy. I've taken off time from work, i've whittled down my vacation days to nothing, took annoying flights (because they were cheaper), took 4 hour bus rides (ditto), etc etc etc. I'm saying all this not to complain or make myself seem like a martyr; i do it because i want to participate in the family *thing*, i want to be there for my niece/nephew/sibling. sometimes there were miscommunications/changes etc, and again - i go with the flow because the bottom line is that the family thing is what is important to me.

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Marisol

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2013, 07:17:33 PM »
I'm also surprised the OP didn't go and have a nice intimate dinner with everyone.  It sounds like it would have been appreciated by GMIL.

shortstuff

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Re: GMIL Birthday Mess
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2013, 07:48:43 PM »
I seem to be in the minority, but I agree with and support the OP's desire to take 4 days off from work and make a plane trip across the country to see the entire family at a milestone birthday.  Maybe this makes me selfish to some, but I wouldn't even make the 2-hour drive to my alma mater to visit with only one friend, I usually travel for an event like Homecoming, where I get to catch up with multiple people. 

It is a shame though, that GMIL is the one who would be missing out on visitors because of the MIL's antics.  I honestly can't think of a solution to the problem of the birthday, the only thing that could have happened after MIL ruined the surprise would be to attempt to coax the rest of the family into 2 birthday celebrations at the same restaurant, 3 weeks apart.  Hopefully the rest of the family would know that GMIL wasn't trying to be a gimme-pig by being the guest of honor at 2 parties  ;)